Nepal & Bhutan — a successful fall season!
Ama Dablam in all its glory. Seth Hobby photo
An exciting season in Nepal! We’ve had some great climbs and treks take place in the Himalayas this year. We brought clients to Ama Dablam, Island Peak, Mera Peak, Everest Base Camp, and Bhutan. Many of you also followed Mark Gunlogson’s adventure on Mera Peak, an exciting new climb we will now be offering climbers looking for new destinations in the Himalayas! Here is a recap of the season. We hope you can join us in 2011.
A group of six joined Mountain Madness and guide Deana Zabaldo in Bhutan this October for an adventurous 16 day trek through the Kingdom. Our group did their best to contribute to the “Gross Domestic Happiniess” as they visited monasteries, visited locals, and enjoyed the spectacular mountain scenery. Trekkers also visited a mask festival — check out this video!
Tiger’s Nest. Deana Zabaldo photo
Mask Festival. Deana Zabaldo photo
Everest Base Camp:
A client favorite, our Everest Base Camp Trek took seven clients through this beautiful Himalayan region. The weather was beautiful through the majority of the trip until a fog rolled in from Phortse near the end and delayed the group for three days. The dynamic, engaged group of trekkers had a great time exploring the Himalayas. Two clients broke off from the group part way through to take a shot at Island Peak and Ama Dablam.
Blessing in Kathmandu before the trek. Deana Zabaldo photo
Jumping for joy at base camp! Deana Zabaldo photo
“Deana was very organized, patient, and extremely knowledgeable about all facets of Nepal. It was perfect because she of course spoke excellent English and understood where we were coming from; yet spoke Nepali and had a bond with the Nepalese people. She arranged several extra encounters we wouldn’t have had otherwise i.e. visits with Buddhist monks, the nuns, gambling on Tihar, visit at teatime with our Sherpas — all of which made this trip special.” ~ Nancy Anderson
When traveling with Mountain Madness, why stop at one mountain?! Joaquim Oliveira joined us this season for a whirlwind tour of Kilimanjaro, Everest Base Camp and Island Peak. His successful summit of Kilimanjaro boosted his confidence as he then traveled to Nepal to join the Everest Base Camp trekkers mentioned above. To top off his adventures, he successfully summited Island Peak, at 20,305 feet!
Final summit ridge on Island Peak. Mark Ryman photo
“After being in Kilimanjaro, Everest Base Camp and Island Peak with MM, I just would like to register how impressed I was by MM’s services at all levels, from the office administration assistance to Tulsi’s epxerience at the top of Island Peak. I truly hope to have another trip with MM.” ~ Joaquim Oliveira
Descending Ama Dablam in good conditions. Seth Hobby photo
After some training climbs in the North Cascades and in the Alps with Mountain Madness, climber Ray Griffith was ready for what many consider the most beautiful mountain in the world. The steep southeast flank of Ama Dablam made a lasting impression on Ray this season once he broke off from the Everest Base Camp group. With Pemba Sherpa’s guidance and supportive coaching, he and Ray pushed up the mountain side quickly, to stay one step ahead of the weather system moving in. Unfortunately, the weather caught up with them and by 6:30 am on summit day, visibility was poor and the strong wind and heavy snow presented some difficult conditions.
30 meters from the summit, with huge gusts of wind and snow blowing off the summit into their faces, Pemba and Ray decided to turn back. “As far as I’m concerned, 30 meters is close enough to the top to call it a successful climb!” Ray wrote to us later. We completely agree with him! The quick acclimatization and progress under nasty weather conditions was quite an accomplishment.
“The climb was fantastic! The rock and mountain were great and lived up to my expectations. The summit push was steeper than I had read about or anticipated. It was a little overwhelming at first, but Pemba got me over that with his professionalism and coaching. He was great!” ~ Ray Griffith
On the summit of Mera framed by Everest on left and Makalu on the right. Mark Gunlogson photo
Summit day. Mark Gunlogson photo
For those of you who didn’t get a chance to follow Mark Gunlogson’s expedition to Mera Peak, here is a quick recap. Mark and four clients were delayed for their flight in to Lukla due to weather, but finally were able to pull some strings and charter a helicopter to take them to Lukla. As the team and porter staff made their way up the mountain, they forged great friendships and had some memorable laughs with lead Sherpa, Lapkha. All six climbers made it successfully to the 21,247 ft peak! Check out some of their photos from summit day here! This trip will be on the schedule for fall 2011- call for details.
“MM did a great job of taking care of all the logistics while we were on the trip. It makes the trip much more enjoyable when you have such a competent staff working with you to make sure your trip is everything you want it to be. Everyone from the office staff to the MM guide to the support team on the trail were all primarily concerned about the safety and enjoyment of all the clients. It was a great experience to use MM for our trip. Thanks!”
~ Mark Sargent
Stay tuned for the 2011 Season in Nepal. We have great trips lined up to bring you a memorable experience in the Himalayas. For those of you who have already joined us for the Everest Base Camp Trek or other climbs in Nepal, check out our new trips for 2011!